Newly discovered T. rex lookalike with an unusual skull terrorized Patagonia 80 million years ago

A reconstruction of the dinosaur's skull.

(CNN)Paleontologists in Argentina have identified a previously unknown species of dinosaur that would have used its huge claws, powerful bite and keen sense of hearing to hunt prey in Patagonia 80 million years ago.

The fossilized remains of Llukalkan aliocranianus include a superbly preserved and uncrushed braincase and were unearthed in the Bajo de la Carpa Formation in Argentina. Llukalkan means "the one who causes fear" in the language of the indigenous Mapuche, and aliocranianus is Latin for "unusual skull."
An artist impression of what Llukalkan aliocranianus may have looked like by Jorge Blanco.
Part of a family of dinosaurs called abelisaurids, the creature would have broadly resembled a Tyrannosaurus rex in appearance, with tiny stubby arms. But an unusually short, deep skull, which often bore crests, bumps and horns, set it apart. At least 5 meters long -- around the size of an elephant -- Llukalkan aliocranianus would have roamed Patagonia and other areas of the prehistoric southern subcontinent of Gondwana, which included Africa, India, Antarctica, Australia and South America.